From the Vice-Chancellor
It's not my job to tell people who to vote for in the coming election, so I'm not even going to try. However, the election is a perfect excuse to talk about one of my favourite subjects: what the University of Adelaide contributes to society.
To do this, you need look no further than the various promises, comments and funding announcements being made throughout the election campaign. It's all about the big issues: climate change, industrial relations, the economy, health, telecommunications, education and skills - these are all critical to Australia's future, and we've been hearing a lot about them from the various political parties.
The University of Adelaide is closely linked with each and every one of these issues. Our academic staff have expertise in all of these fields - the kind of expertise that is recognised as among the best in the nation, and recognised right around the world.
Our academics in these fields and others - including Politics itself - have already spent a great deal of time in the media discussing policy decisions, the various promises, and the real or imagined impact of those campaign decisions on the general public. The University has perhaps never been as prominent in the process of political debate as we are today, and that is no surprise given that we are one of the most research-intensive universities in Australia and we have knowledge to share with the community.
There are many stories in this issue of the Adelaidean alone that reflect just a part of what we do in these fields. International and national recognition given to our staff for their work on climate change research (including a Nobel Prize), comment on the state of water supplies and usage, research that seeks alternative energy sources and fuels, the latest efforts to improve people's health and wellbeing - many of these stories deal with the very election issues that Australia's voters are facing at the polls come 24 November. These issues are a part of daily life for many of our staff and students who are working hard to make new discoveries and to keep Australia at the cutting edge.
The recent award of a total of $42 million in new research funding is also featured in this issue. This is a huge win for the University and our research partners and affiliates. A casual glance at the examples of new projects being funded demonstrates the importance of the University of Adelaide's work to the future of our nation.
University education and research has never been as important to Australia's future as it is today. Whichever government Australia ends up with after the election, that government needs to fully understand the role of higher education in dealing with current issues faced by our nation, as well as preparing us for the many issues that are yet to be identified.
PROFESSOR JAMES A. McWHA
Vice-Chancellor and President